Apprenticeships are a structured workplace training program that:
- Combines on-the-job training, working under a supervisor that passes down knowledge to the apprentice to gain hands-on skills with off-the-job training with a registered training provider to master competency in a trade
- Provides a paid role in a workplace
After 3-4 years of this combination of training and working, the apprentice becomes a qualified tradesperson.
Traineeships are a flexible workplace training program that:
- Combines on-the-job training and working under a supervisor that is passing down knowledge to the trainee to gain skills with a registered training provider coming to the workplace to support competency development
- Provides a paid role in a workplace
After 1-2 years of this combination of training, the trainee gains a nationally recognised qualification can claim practical workplace experience.
School-based apprenticeships and traineeships:
- Provides the opportunity for employers to engage full-time year 11 or 12 students for 1-2 days per week in the workplace to undertake a nationally-recognised qualification
- Working with a registered training provider to support the formal training, the student gains a nationally recognised qualification, backed by real workplace experience
- Provide a paid role in a workplace
The student usually completes a Certificate II qualification that can lead to a full apprenticeship or traineeship after completing high school.
There are workplace laws that apply to all employees in the national workplace relations system, which includes apprentices and trainees. These entitlements are set out in the National Employment Standards and the award or agreement that applies to your business.
In WA, over 100 approved qualifications that can be undertaken as apprenticeships.
Over 520 qualifications can be undertaken as traineeships.
And 240 qualifications can be undertaken as school-based apprenticeships or traineeships.
The State Government maintains a Register of Class A and B Qualifications that lists the qualifications deemed suitable to be undertaken as an apprenticeship, traineeship or through a school-based arrangement.
Appropriate alignment to the job role
“Under the apprenticeship or traineeship delivery of a qualification, an apprentice is expected to be employed and trained in a capacity relevant and appropriate to the nominated qualification for the duration of the nominal term.”
In WA, the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s Apprenticeship Office will assess every contract to ensure that the apprenticeship or traineeship qualification is appropriate for the employee, workplace, and suitable occupational outcome.
For example, an employer cannot put a retail employee into Warehousing Traineeship. While they may unpack stock, they are not primarily working in a warehouse environment.
In WA, there are many private and government training providers that deliver apprenticeships and traineeships programmes to choose from.
It’s worth noting that the Department of Training and Workforce Development provides funding to a panel of training providers to deliver State Priority Skills training across WA. This means that if you choose a funded training provider to provide apprenticeship and traineeship training, the cost of training will be lower.
It is essential to do your research and talk to other employers about their training provider experiences, so you can get good training outcomes that meet your expectations for your staff and business.
In our experience, these questions will help you get an idea of what a training provider can offer:
- What modes of training do you deliver?
- Where are you based?
- How many trainers do you have?
- How flexible can the training times be?
- How often do you come to the workplace to train or assess?
- How do you maintain industry relevance for your trainers?
- Are you on the WA preferred provider list to deliver this qualification?
- What is the cost for a new worker trainee or apprentice, and is there a difference in price for existing workers?
- My company has unique processes; can you train my staff to meet my businesses needs?
Group Training Organisations employ apprentices and trainees and place them with host employers to complete their qualification.
Employers can engage a GTO instead of directly employing an apprentice or trainee. An employer pays to hire the apprentice or trainee for an agreed period. The GTO will:
- Undertake the recruitment process
- Be responsible for paying wages and on-going employment costs
- Arrange and manage the off-the-job training requirements
- Provide pastoral care to the apprentice or trainee throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship
As the GTO is responsible for placing the apprentice or trainee, they’ll find a new host if an employer can no longer accommodate them.
Group Training can be beneficial to businesses that:
- Find committing to the full period of an apprenticeship or traineeship difficult
- Lack the resources (payroll, HR support) to manage an apprentice or trainee
- Are unable to provide the full on-the-job training required for an apprentice or trainee to achieve their competencies
In WA, there are at least 29 GTOs operating. Many of these are dedicated to specific industry sectors – such as hospitality or automotive. Or they can be broader-based and supply a cross-section of apprentices and trainees.
We encourage employers to talk to a number of GTOs before selecting a provider, as they can differ in price, service levels and the types of apprentices or trainees available.